Skip to Content

Honor, Sacrifice and Imperial Duplicity

Four Dead in Niger. Anybody Know Why?

The ball is in the Trump court. What were those four men doing in Niger? Is our military presence making things better or worse there? Did US leadership make a bad decision that had unforeseen consequences? Are they relying on secrecy to cover up an embarrassment? And the big question: Is the United States mobilizing its military in Africa? Are we embarking on a huge new foreign adventure? On a large, historic canvas, one can look at the Vietnam and Iraq Wars in this light, as the growth of imperial militarism with expanding commitments of young men and women in uniform. Which brings us back to General Kelly’s schizophrenic press conference: On one hand, there’s his moving call for recognizing the sacrifice of our soldiers and their families. Then, there’s his shameful political attack on a congresswoman who he did not realize had real skin in the game -- skin that happened to be darker than his white, privileged Boston skin. The general wonders why the honor and glue of America isn’t what it used to be in the glory days of World War Two, which was a defensive war. Those "values" no longer prevail; something else is going on. General Kelly needs to realize, when he becomes an attack dog for someone like Donald Trump, he’s not on a foreign battlefield -- he’s in the trenches of Washington DC, which a recent article in the conservative National Review compared to the climate in the HBO hit Game of Thrones.

Washington politics is uglier than it has been in a long time. Secrecy, dishonesty and corruption are epidemic. As long as our military is rooted in such amoral soil, the respect and sacredness for our soldiers that General Kelly seeks will remain far out of reach.

story | by Dr. Radut